Most people don’t realize it, but nursing home residents also have some basic rights just like patients who are admitted in a hospital. But since many people are not aware of these rights, they seem to think that once they are admitted to a nursing home, they have no say in any matter. This is an absolutely wrong perception. If you or someone you love is a resident of a nursing home in Lakeland, Florida and if you have questions or concerns about your rights, you need to speak to a nursing home abuse lawyer in Lakeland, Florida.
Over the years, the state of Florida has enacted several laws that require nursing homes to acknowledge that all residents have certain rights. Living in a nursing home is not like going to prison. They might not be living in their own homes, but they still are human beings and have rights. These rights give the residents the ability to make their own decisions regarding any personal care or medical treatment. In addition, these rights also ensure that the resident has access to a safe and secure living environment.
Some of the basic rights of nursing home residents in Florida include:
- The right to be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness
- The right to be free of both physical and mental abuse
- The right to receive adequate healthcare
- The right that all their medical and personal information will be held confidential
- The right to select a healthcare worker, within reason
- The right to refuse any medical treatment which they deem risky to their health or with which they are uncomfortable.
- The right to have a say in all medical treatments and care
- The right to discontinue any treatment that is not of any benefit
- The right to basic living necessities such as selection of clothes to wear, food to eat and facilities to perform their daily living activities
- The right to manage personal finances. If the resident’s finances are being managed by the nursing home, the resident has the option to ask for quarterly reports.
- The right to be informed of any medical or personal care services, both orally and in written format.
- The right to participate in social activities and other resident groups. However, one is not allowed to engage in political groups inside the nursing home or advocate any type of violence of aggression towards others.
- The right to practice the religion of their choice
- The right to participate in social, physical and community activities
- The right to have visitors during the established visiting hours
- The right to have a phone and communicate with friends, family or for medical consultation. These phone calls are confidential and private.
- The right to communicate if they have an issue or problem at the nursing home and the right to expect that their matter will be taken seriously and will be resolved if it is valid.
- The right to make a complaint against any resident or staff at the nursing home, without any fear or repercussions.
- The right to make a room change, if there is a valid reason
- The right to be notified if the resident is to be transferred to a hospital
- The right to be given at least a 30 days notice prior to final discharge
It is not as if these rights are hidden somewhere under books and papers. Whenever a patient is admitted into a nursing home, they receive a contract/agreement which contains all the basic rights of a nursing home resident. It is important for the patient to read this carefully, and if the patient is unable to do so, it is important for their closest family members to review these rights. Read them so that you know where you stand. However, also remember that nursing homes have rules and regulations that you have to abide by.
Nursing home abuse is a growing problem in Lakeland, Florida. The problem is that many nursing home residents do not realize that anybody who treats them badly or abuses them in any way in a nursing home is breaking the law. If you or someone you love is a nursing home resident and if you have any questions or concerns regarding the nursing home, please call our office at Burnetti, P.A. and speak to our nursing home abuse lawyer. Our nursing home abuse attorney will help you understand your rights and help you resolve any issues that you might have related to the nursing home.